Monthly Archives: October 2009

Abatta, Kaufeldt swap anchor shifts at Fox 35

ttt-fox35-2009New WOFL ND Jeff Zeller appears to be wasting no time making changes at Fox 35.

A pair of anchors — newcomer Sonni Abatta and veteran Amy Kaufeldt — will be swapping roles. Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports Kaufeldt will become Cale Ramaker’s co-anchor on the Fox 35 10 p.m. news as well as continue as the 5 p.m. co-anchor. Abatta will move off the late anchor desk to join the 9 a.m. hour of “Good Day” while continuing to be the 6 p.m. anchor with Ramaker.

The changes are scheduled to begin on Monday.

Health care debate: Is Oz better than Phil?

drphilpixSome interesting news, considering WKMG’s schedule shuffle that replaced its early evening newscasts with Dr. Phil …

Local 6’s Post-Newsweek sister station, KPRC in Houston, has yanked Dr. Phil from its schedule — replacing the doc’s show with another doc — Dr. Oz.

Here’s what Broadcasting and Cable reported:  KPRC decided to remove Dr. Phil from its schedule due to disappointment with sliding ratings and disagreement over the show’s content, said Post-Newsweek President Alan Frank. The station is continuing to pay the show’s license fees, although it is not airing the show’s national commercials, which are sold by CTD and provide additional income to the syndicator. “It’s out of desperation that I did this,” said Frank, who said he’s personally met with show star and executive producer Dr. Phil McGraw to try and get his concerns resolved. “I did everything but stand on my head to get [CBS’] attention over the years.”

And in Detroit, B&C says another Post-Newsweek station — WDIV — is airing Dr. Oz at 3 p.m. — and has seen its 4 p.m. news ratings improve by 33 percent compared to last year.

The irony is that even if WKMG wanted to replace Dr. Phil with Dr. Oz, it can’t. Hearst-Argyle’s O-Town duopoly of WESH and WKCF locked up Dr. Oz in this market. If anything, looks like it was — at the very least — a good defensive move by WESH.

New Guy at WESH, change in weather at WKMG

ttt-notes2Back from a Fall break from blogging. Here’s what been going on …

New WESH 2 Sunrise anchor Jason Guy doesn’t officially start his new gig until Monday, but he’s been trying out the Channel 2 anchor desk. He co-anchored the Friday noon news with his Sunrise co-anchor Syan Rhodes, and he was spotted on the Saturday 11 p.m. news with Aixa Diaz. Guy, whose broadcasting career includes a stint as a contestant on CBS’ Big Brother, answered questions from Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. On how the Big Brother experienced shaped him, Guy said, “I had a rare experience in reality. I was genuinely who I am. And I went in there and I said, ‘Even if I don’t win, I want to keep my integrity.’ It helped me figure out where I was heading in life. I started working in reality-television production after the show. I got hired by an executive producer of Big Brother. I did well with that one and kept getting hired.” Read the Sentinel Q&A with Guy here. …

For anyone watching WKMG over the past couple of months, this probably comes as no surprise. The station has installed meteorologist Troy Bridges as the 11 p.m. weather guy, with chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells staying on the 6-7 p.m. news. For several months, Bridges and Sorrells have been sharing weather duties in the evenings — which at least to me has seemed awkward. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not alone in thinking that Local 6 seems to be easing out Sorrells in favor of Bridges. It may be part of a cost-cutting move. As you recall WKMG laid off 20 people in May  and canceled its 4, 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts. …

One of those laid off in the Local 6 May purge was reporter Kimberly Houk. She’s back working again — now on weekend assignments for WESH 2. …

Gavin Maliska’s stint as news director at WOFL-Fox 35 didn’t even last a year. He was shown the door last month. and now GM Stan Knott has elevated Jeff Zeller to ND from assistant news director. For those keeping score, Zeller replaces Maliska, who replaced Bob Clinkingbeard, who replaced John Sears, who replaced Lena Sadiwskyj. In all, Zeller is Fox 35’s fifth news director in six years. Broadcasting and Cable says that before he joined WOFL 3-1/2 years ago, Zeller spent six years at WPXI in Pittsburgh — first as an executive producer and then as a managing editor/senior executive producer — and two years at WHIO in Dayton, Ohio.